HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422
NELL, Ian A.. Blended learning: Innovation in the teaching of Practical Theology to undergraduate students. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2013, vol.69, n.1, pp.1-8. ISSN 2072-8050.
Blended learning is becoming increasingly prevalent in the academic environment. This approach to learning was developed for various reasons, including the problem of information overloading and the need for integration of theory and praxis. Recent research indicates that changes in the brain necessary for success in the learning process are related to numerous factors like practical exercises, emotions and background factors while learning. The purpose of this research was to evaluate through empirical research the innovative use of blended learning by first-year students in practical theology. The results of two empirical surveys indicate a positive experience of a variety of forms of learning by the students. The results are interpreted with the aid of theoretical insights from the fields of pedagogy and practical theology. Four pedagogical strategies are discussed, all of which individually contribute to the learning process. This includes pedagogies of contextualisation, interpretation, formation and performance. In conclusion, a number of recommendations are made about the use of blended learning in practical-theological teaching. It is done by making use of a case study within a theodramatic approach to practical theology. The use of the film Son of Man is examined as example in the light of the envisaged outcomes for practical-theological teaching.